What are homeopathic remedies, and how are they made?

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Homeopathic remedies are highly dilute and yet very powerful medicines made from natural substances found in the animal, mineral and vegetable kingdoms. They are administered by homeopathic practitioners in accordance with the principles of homeopathy—that is, laws of Nature.
Each remedy has its own unique symptom image, which is discovered through drug trials called “provings.” In a proving, healthy people take a single remedy frequently until they start to come down with symptoms—just as Hahnemann did when he experimented with Peruvian bark. During a proving, a single remedy causes mental, emotional and physical symptoms to appear in the prover, revealing how that remedy effects the overall state of health of people. This overall effect the remedy has on the provers shows us the unique symptom image of that remedy. The symptoms the provers come down with are documented, and this documentation builds the homeopathic Materia Medica: the catalog of remedies used by homeopathic practitioners. Based on the information collected in the Materia Medica, the homeopathic practitioner is able to know how homeopathic remedies act. The practitioner is then able to find the remedy whose action or symptom image most closely matches the symptom totality experienced by the patient in his or her state of illness. The remedy whose symptom image most closely matches the state of illness suffered by the patient, will cure and return the patient to a state of health.

To make a homeopathic remedy, we use natural substances found in the animal, mineral and vegetable kingdoms. To turn these substances into homeopathic remedies, we take them through the processes of “dilution and trituration” or “dilution and succussion.”

If a substance is not water or alcohol soluble—like gold, lead, copper, or calcium—we use a mortar and pestle to “triturate” or grind one part of it into ninety-nine parts of milk sugar. Once the substance is sufficiently triturated, we take one part of this mixture or “trituration” and put it in another ninety-nine parts of milk sugar, again triturating it. We do this a third time. At this point, the substance is water or alcohol soluble, whereas in its natural or crude state it was not.
When a substance is alcohol soluble (either naturally, like salts or plants, or after trituration), we use the process of “dilution and succussion.” First, some substances require a little preparation, like plants, which have to be steeped in alcohol in order to make tinctures out of them. Substances that readily dissolve in water, like salts, do not require any preparation. We put one part of this soluble substance (tincture, salt, triturate) into a vial containing ninety-nine parts of alcohol. We succuss or pound this vial a number of times—ranging from 2, 10, 20, or 40 times at each step. Hahnemann Pharmacy applies 20 succussions at each step to make its remedies. From this succussed, medicated solution, we take one part and put it in another vial of ninety-nine parts of alcohol, succussing it to reach the second step. Repeating this process of dilution and succussion gives us a series of potencies or strengths available for use.

We use the processes of “dilution and trituration” or “dilution and succussion” because they change substances into simpler and yet stronger forms. Every substance has within it an inherent medicinal quality. These processes bring out this inherent medicinal quality. So, substances like common salt or charcoal, which have little to no effect on a person, become deep and powerful medicines through the process of dilution and succussion. Likewise, toxic substances like arsenic and mercury, are rendered nontoxic while becoming greatly medicinal. Through dilution and succussion or trituration, we can take any substance—whether it be non-soluble, toxic, or completely inert—and turn it into a profound and safe medicine.